Tuesday, July 21, 2009

On Selling Out, and Treason

I saw this photo while on Facebook. For those who cannot read Armenian and/or see the picture well, the top half is a number of images from Eastern Turkey/Western Armenia, with writing that says something like: "Armenians vacationing in Antalya are arming/strengthening the Turkish Army." The poster is by the ARF.
The bottom half of this photo is a banner/poster of the ARF with their logo in the top left. The bottom half of it is covered up - it seems to have been an "X" and a check mark in boxes, emulating ballots probably for this past election. It is covered up by another poster that says "For Sale - Rush."

This photo caught my eye. In fact, I just keep going back to look at it over and over again. Let's take a look at it with a slightly analytical eye. I'll try to keep it brief.

The collection of photos in the top half is mostly, from what I can see: the Turkish Army and flags, Ararat and historical monuments on historically Armenian soil, for which the ARF makes demands (the latter two). They make demands for the soil, though they couldn't even properly support those who fought in the NK war of the 1990's, or those who tried to settle the lands after the war. Not to mention that as a political Diasporan Party, the ARF was less than excited when Armenia declared independence in 1991.

I think one of the lower pictures in that top half is Hrant Dink (not completely sure), who is only one of many people whom the ARF has lambasted over the years for suggesting open discussion and some degree of relations with Turkey, or at least, not hating Turks just for being born Turks. Given that party history, they basically had no choice but to carefully leave the ruling coalition after it made some flea-sized steps in the general direction of Turkey- Sure, it left the coalition, but no one really thinks they are opposition (see below).

Let's not forget that while Armenia was in a war, and going through what so many call the "Dark and Cold" years, the vast majority of the ARF was more than happy to be critical rather than constructive, and destructive rather than supportive - case in point evidence given by Serge Sargsyan himself of the involvement of ARF and Dro in violent and illegal international activities.

There's more, but let's move on to the bottom half. It's pretty self explanatory - ARF for sale, especially when it comes to elections. They'll make a poster trying to discourage Armenians from vacationing in Eastern Turkey, implying it is pro-Turk, anti-Armenian, and almost treasonous. But, they obviously had no problem joining the coalition government that shot and killed 10 of its own civilians, and continues to this day to keep political prisoners - some of whom are known veterans of the NK war- as well as maintaining a policy of oppression of basic human rights.

So, speaking of treason, the ARF, and NK, let's see what one person who has actually been consistent in all of this over the past 20 years, Jirair Sefilyan, has to say about this (loosely transcribed and translated from an RFE/RL recording):
"This is not a personal issue, we are thinking about our future, about our children's future, about our country's future... That's why changing the government of this country is a necessity, like air and water..."
The narrating reporter stated that Sefilyan critized the ARF, calling their demand for Nalbandyan's resignation comical, and considers the ARF to be working under the orders of Serge Sargsyan.

The narrating reporter also states that Sefilyan believes that it is too late in the game for Sahakyan to suddenly announce that Armenia cannot negotiate on behalf of Nagorno-Kharabagh. "At this point, if Bako Sahakyan can do anything, there is only one thing he can do: In the coming days, he has to announce that the politics being conducted by Yerevan are anti-Armenian politics, and Serge Sargsyan is involved in treasonous acts, and he needs to call on the Armenian people to quickly rid themselves of this regime. If he doesn't do this, then he, too, is an accessory in these treasonous acts."

Why focus on the immediate health, safety, and stability of Armenia and its people, when you can just continue imposing your own Diasporan priorities based on your own Diasporan identity?

[Photo courtesy of Arsen Torosyan]


Anonymous said...

Enough with your rabid hatred of the ARF. Go find something to believe in rather than just spew hatred.

tzitzernak2 said...

Anonymous -
I do believe in something.
I believe in a free and independent Armenia, in a democratic Armenia.

Was the ARF NOT part of the coalition government?
Did Sargsyan NOT write that letter describing the illegal actions of the ARF?
Does the ARF NOT have Hye Tad as one of its main guiding principles/goals?

Or maybe you think the ARF really has become opposition - I'm open to that debate.
Or you disagree with my categorization of most Diasporan Armenian identities as dysfunctional, because I'm open to that debate, too.

I don't remember ARF/AYF camps teaching about Hrant Dink while he was alive. I do remember that certain ARF/AYF youth camps used LTP's photo as actual target practice in the 1990's - now that's rabid hatred.
But, hey, let's move forward, not back.

nazarian said...

If there is one thing I don't like, it's calling someone 'a traitor' simply because they have a different point of view on things. I don't know if this is a leftover from the Soviet times (starting as early as 1920-s)... Such terminology seems to exist among the Diasporans as well but is not as hateful as what you encounter in Armenia.

I don't like the way ARF has behaved since the independence, especially the Dro conspiracy, the murders of policemen in the early 90-s or the October 27. But these were criminal activities and should be called as such. These were not an act of treason. The members of ARF have every right to have their ideology as long as they do not commit any crime based on them.

Similarly, the bloodbath on March 1 and the subsequent imprisonment of the political prisoners is not an act of treason but criminal behavior. So I do not think that Robert Kocharian or Serj Sargsian are traitors. They simply are suspects for criminal acts (according to the constitution they are innocent until proven guilty even though they themselves do not follow that article).

I just don't know if the hostility in politics is a reflection of the hostility in the society or not.

tzitzernak2 said...

Well said.
Unfortunately, there seems to be a verbal "arms race," and once one group throws the term out there to get nationalistic sentiments boiling, the other groups follow, returning in kind, or escalating.
Which, of course implies competition.
What are they competing for?

Aziz 55.5 said...

We do believe in an Independent and a Democratic Armenia, Anonymous. Name me one thing that the ARF has done to bring about an Independent and Democratic Armenia. Hatred is when the Dashnaks did nothing when peacful protesters were attacked. Dasknaks said nothing for the victims of March 1.
But Tzitzernak2 is right, and I will quote him/her "hey, let's move forward not back."

Anonymous said...